Universal Children’s Day

Next Wednesday, 20 November 2024

Universal Children's Day, also known as World Children's Day, is a United Nations holiday commemorated on November 20 every year. It celebrates the Declaration of the Rights of the Child adopted on this day in 1959. It raises awareness about issues that affect children, and promotes the importance of children's welfare around the world.

Children have different needs and rights than adults. Thus, it is crucial to have a day that highlights that. Universal Children's Day also reminds us that we should invest in children and their education as they are the future of the world.

A Girl Child studying

Universal Children's Day History

In 1954,the United Nations General Assembly recommended that all countries around the world commemorate an annual Universal Children's Day, starting in 1956. This day was meant to encourage children of all countries to come together, and educate them about tolerance and understanding, as well as promote children's well-being. The countries were also given the freedom to choose their own date. 

On November 20, 1959, the Declaration of the Rights of the Child was passed in the UN General Assembly. This is why the date was chosen as the official global observance of Universal Children's Day or World Children's Day. The declaration highlights children's right to education, and health, their right to life and to play, the right to family life and protection from violence, and the right to be heard. 

Thirty years later, on November 20, the United Nations held the Convention on the Rights of the Child, where children's rights were officially established. There are 54 articles in the Convention, delineating children's rights and how governments can enforce them and make them available to the children in their country. It focuses on the specific needs of children in the economic, social, civil, political, and health sector.

"It would be the love of my life to have a World Children's Day...If I had a day like that with my father, our relationship would be totally different now "

-Michael Jackson

How to Celebrate Universal Children's Day

The United Nations and UNICEF websites have many resources on how to help contribute to better the lives of children around the world.

  • For example, you can sponsor a child in another country, or donate to organizations whose goal is to help children. Even the smallest donation can change a child's life, so on this day, do some research and think about helping improve a child's future. 
  • The UN also organizes specific events for Universal Children's Day. Check locally to see if there are any happening close to you and attend it. It is a great opportunity to learn more about issues that affect children and how you can help. 
  • If you've always thought about volunteering, you could always consider starting it now, and offer your help at the local children's shelter or school. 

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Universal Children’s Day - Next years

Thursday, 20 November 2025

Friday, 20 November 2026

Saturday, 20 November 2027

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